Friday, August 24, 2007

Biscuits, Gravy, Pianos, Choirs, and Hell

Several church bulletins show up in my mailbox every week. I like to read them when I get the chance. I enjoy keeping up, hearing what different congregations are doing.

I frequently check out the attendance and contribution figures. Every once in a while, I'll do some math, dividing the dollars by the attendance in order to derive a figure for giving-per-person. But please don't tell anyone. That just seems so, I don't know, . . . unholy.

Anyway, I often read the articles too. I've discovered that some preachers are especially good writers. One of my favorites is Dalton Key.

But then there was this recent article, by someone I won't name, that just floored me.

The writer begins by explaining that he's a southerner, and that he likes to eat biscuits and gravy. There's just one problem. He has high cholesterol.

So, he can't have biscuits and gravy. If he had that meal as often as he wanted to, he'd soon be dead. So he lays off the biscuits and gravy.

Unlike him, though, a lot of so-called religious people give in to their own form of biscuits and gravy. They happen to like "instrumental music" and "choirs."

However, warns the writer, if they go on "practicing what they are practicing" what awaits them is "certain spiritual death." And all because they liked and indulged in instrumental music and choirs.

The article closes with these words: "When those who practice such error face the fiery pits of Hell and ponder their position for eternity surely they will not respond with the exclamation, 'But I like it!'"

How does this happen? . . .

How do people get to the point where they think that a cappella worship and the absence of choirs is part of our dying to sin?

How do people conclude, and say with a straight face, that hell is reserved for instrumentalists and choir people?

I'm no fan of biscuits and gravy. But that other part makes me feel sick.


James said...

If I recall correctly, the rationalization is something along the lines of.....

"That's what my parents believed, that what I was taught, it's good enough for me."

"Different is bad."

"Anything that makes you feel good must be a sin."

"If God wanted me to play an instrument, he would have put it in the Bible."

And while they'll never admit it, I believe that in many cases it's something more along the lines of...

"If I stopped to truly think about these new ideas and wrestle with them, it would cause a catastrophic collapse the foundations of my faith that I am scared I might never recover from. So instead, I'll cling to the comfortable status quo as if it were my lifeline."

But then again, I have been known to be wrong in my life. ;)

john dobbs said...

Frank, so many people are members of the church but not disciples of Jesus Christ. They have not learned his ways, nor do they understand the grace and truth that poured out from his life. It is the same blind allegiance that we criticize in others. Anecdotal little stories like this and their applications make us roll our eyes, but to others they prove the point. Our Enemy has done his work well, eh?

Bob Bliss said...

Frank, here's a funny story that you might find interesting in light of what your post. I hope you have a good laugh, I did.

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist? He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are your Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord? He said, Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are your Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.

Bob Bliss said...

Here's a link to Out of Ur blog that you might find interesting and ties in somewhat with this post.